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Teenage shooting leads to gun safety concern

Modified BB gun found in shooting investigation

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo ofJahnesta Williams
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo ofJahnesta Williams

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville teenager has been charged with a felony after police said he shot another teen in the leg Friday night.

Jahnesta Williams, 16, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

According to the police report, investigators recovered a BB gun at Williams' home that had been modified to shoot bullets but did not say if it was the gun used to wound the other teen.

Police said they were called to the Beauclerc Bay apartment complex off San Jose Boulevard around 9 p.m. Friday where the shooting started as an argument between two teens who live in the complex.

According to the police report, the victim told JSO that Williams had bullied him in the past.

It also stated that Williams' brother owned the BB gun.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo ofJahnesta Williams
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo ofJahnesta Williams

The victim was standing in front of his apartment building when Williams (pictured) walked over and shot him in the upper thigh as the youth turned to go back inside, witnesses told authorities.

Officers were given permission by Williams' mother to search the family's home and that's when the modified gun was found.

Finding the modified weapon has raised concerns about the fact that such a modification is possible.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said that modifying a toy gun, whether it's made of metal or plastic, is very possible and parents need to be aware of what their children have and are doing, even with what looks like a toy gun.

"It can be done, but most people don't think of it because most toy guns are plastic," Smith said.

Smith also said that if parents or their kids own something like a BB gun or a toy gun, even though it's not a real firearm, they should treat it like it is.

"Parents really should keep this in their possession, even if it's locked up. Have it so that it's high up. Keep it somewhere where they won't be able to find it," Smith said.

Parents should also check these toy guns like they would if they were real.

"You always want to tap the end of the gun, just make sure the receiving part hasn't been switched out. You would be able to tell by the weight. It would be a lot heavier if any metal parts had been added," Smith said.

Smith also sent out a warning to people who may be thinking of making modifications to toy guns, whether BB guns or air soft rifles. He said that it is actually manufacturing a weapon, which is a federal felony.
 


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